§ Mr. George Osborne
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the cost of making junction 20 of the M6 fully directional; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the cost of building the proposed M556; 
(3) what plans he has to reduce traffic flows on the A556 between junction 19 of the M6 and the M56. 
§ Mr. Jamieson
I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Tim Matthews, to write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Tim Matthews to Mr. George Osborne, dated 10 June 2002:The Transport Minister, David Jamieson, has asked me to reply to your three recent Parliamentary Questions about the cost of building a new motorway link between the M6 in the vicinity of JI9 and the M56 in the vicinity of J7, plans to reduce traffic flows on the A556, and the cost of making Junction 20 of the M6 Motorway fully directional.At the time of the Government's trunk roads review of 1998 the estimated cost of constructing the A556(M) was £100m. The cost-estimate is currently under review as part of the A556 Area Study being carried out to inform the West Midlands to North West Conurbations Multi-Modal Study (MIDMAN) consideration. The purpose of MIDMAN was to develop an overarching strategy for transport between the conurbations.The Highways Agency is currently undertaking the A556 Area Study in support of the MIDMAN Multi-Modal Study, which is also exploring different options for a link between Junction 19 of the M6 and Junction 7 of the M56. Reduction of traffic flows and the associated environmental relief to communities along the A556 are key aims. That report is expected to be completed this Summer.A scheme, which would make Junction 20 of the M6 fully-directional is currently being investigated as part of the A556 Area Study. The cost-estimate is currently being developed and will form part of the final report on that Study.I hope this is helpful. If you would like any further information about these issues, please contact Gerald Cooper, Room 703, Sunley Tower, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester, MI 4BE (telephone 0161–930 5640).